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In a world without printing, I expect books to be expensive, and lore equally so.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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There were great libraries before the printed press and you'll be hard pressed to say that the written word or lore is uncommon in a world where adventurer keep detailed journals and cyclopedias, where every mage is running around with a huge grimoire, priest are church-educated and are widely versed in many types of lore, and chanters will tell you tales of long forgotten lands. So if you are looking for rationalization you'll find it.

Edited by Mor
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I think the information you "magically" acquire is something the character you are playing should know (in-character common knowledge about the world) and it is presented as small doses for the player's convenience - to not flood him with information, just provide what is immediately relevant. At least that's what I believe the intention is, even though this system often messes up with the pacing.
It's also there as a reference, most likely so that players can orient themselves without the need to study the world or have awkward exposition dumps from NPCs.
 
Some though though I think could be transferred to the journal. I'd like to have information regarding a particular quest to be easily accessible from there. In these games you always find a ton of notes (usually just labeled "Note") and letters that are either piling up your inventory because you don't know if you'll need them or not or piling up your codex so you have to search for the right one. It would be really neat if you could just have them under quest entrie sor something. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to think of an adventurer's journal as looking something like THIS .

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EDIT:

Although, these long entries are another way to say "hey, we worked really really hard to explain everything on our universe but failed miserably in putting all of that in the game so, here, have a random encyclopedia that explain stuff that is not in the game anyway".

Do you remember the library in Irenicus dungeon? shelves full of books with background info? What a waste! does anyone expected us to hold on our prison break, so we can pause the game for a couple of hours and read history books? or drag that stack of books around in our limited inventory, since there is no way to revisit it. Why simply not to add it as codex info, so we can revisit at our own time during our adventure?

 

 

 

 

 

I read : "Why simply not to add it as codex info, so we can never ever read it at all during our adventure?"

 

More seriously, I have nothing against compiling the documents read by the PC in a book of any form. I'm more concerned by the fact that "touching" a statue will let you know tons of stuff about religion. Kind of immersion breaking imo, especially when the info is abundant like "oh you thought it was a simple statue, didn't you"
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Qu'avez-vous fait de l'honneur de la patrie ?

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I read : "Why simply not to add it as codex info, so we can never ever read it at all during our adventure?"

It was in the context of:

codex will be handled as collection of lore gathered during my adventure

you unlock codex entries by reading books

and the point was that such "codex like" info you complained about, wasn't uncommon in our games, only poorly implemented. I'd rather imagine that I grabbed one of the books, so I can read it later at my leisure, than turn my escape from the Irenicus dungeon into a book club or forced to drag countless books in my inventory instead of having an easily navigateable codex.

 

As for what info will be handled by the codex, I trust our writers in this.

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More seriously, I have nothing against compiling the documents read by the PC in a book of any form. I'm more concerned by the fact that "touching" a statue will let you know tons of stuff about religion. Kind of immersion breaking imo, especially when the info is abundant like "oh you thought it was a simple statue, didn't you"

Which was my point.  Every living person in the forgotten realms should know the basics of the faith based around say Lathander.  So.... you should never have to click on the statue in the first place, your "codex" for lack of a better current term should literally have this basic info in it outright.  If it is something anyone with a decent education would know then the PC should know it right out of character creation.

 

The reason game developers do it the way you apparently hate so much is simple.  The player gets told about information relevant to what they are doing "right now" as opposed to just knowing it in advance but it being in some massive info dump.  Dev's know most players won't know their original unique world lore going in and and won't bother looking it up unless something prompts them to in other words.  While I understand that approach, I hope Obsidian just says "to heck with them" and lets the players have that info outright and the ones who read it better understand the world and the ones who don't...  Well they just don't really know what the hell is going on. 

 

However like I said, if you come across something that is new data through whatever means you should get an update message letting you know new data was added.

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More seriously, I have nothing against compiling the documents read by the PC in a book of any form. I'm more concerned by the fact that "touching" a statue will let you know tons of stuff about religion. Kind of immersion breaking imo, especially when the info is abundant like "oh you thought it was a simple statue, didn't you"

Which was my point.  Every living person in the forgotten realms should know the basics of the faith based around say Lathander.  So.... you should never have to click on the statue in the first place, your "codex" for lack of a better current term should literally have this basic info in it outright.  If it is something anyone with a decent education would know then the PC should know it right out of character creation.

 

The reason game developers do it the way you apparently hate so much is simple.  The player gets told about information relevant to what they are doing "right now" as opposed to just knowing it in advance but it being in some massive info dump.  Dev's know most players won't know their original unique world lore going in and and won't bother looking it up unless something prompts them to in other words.  While I understand that approach, I hope Obsidian just says "to heck with them" and lets the players have that info outright and the ones who read it better understand the world and the ones who don't...  Well they just don't really know what the hell is going on. 

 

However like I said, if you come across something that is new data through whatever means you should get an update message letting you know new data was added.

 

 

Well it's my whole point, I don't consider an encyclopedia a good way to make people "better understand the lore". I'm absolutely able to understand what npc's are talking about, I don't need to take a class about it.

 

The Developers of Dark Souls didn't care to know if people would bother try to understand its lore, they decided to adopt a full video game narration, where the level design and game mechanics actually tell the story. There are still a majority of people today that still think Dark Souls story is a basic "go kill some dudes" quest and have no idea of how deep it actually is.

Now of course, I realize that Dark Souls narration is something really hard to elaborate, and that some developpers decide to use traditional kind of narration (literacy here, cinematic for most AAA games and so forth). All i'm saying is : there are alternatives to literary and/or cinematic narrations, From Software proved it pretty well.

Qu'avez-vous fait de l'honneur de la patrie ?

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I am pretty sure we are going with the same narration as in Baldur's gate. The "codex" example I suggest is not a meant to substitute anything or has anything todo with AAA titles etc, only to improve already existing mechanics which you can find BG.

 

As for Dark Souls, its a completely different game, which IMO has completely different appeal than Baldur's gate game and lets leave it at that unless you have any specific suggestions for this game.

Edited by Mor
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The Developers of Dark Souls didn't care to know if people would bother try to understand its lore, they decided to adopt a full video game narration, where the level design and game mechanics actually tell the story. There are still a majority of people today that still think Dark Souls story is a basic "go kill some dudes" quest and have no idea of how deep it actually is.

Now of course, I realize that Dark Souls narration is something really hard to elaborate, and that some developpers decide to use traditional kind of narration (literacy here, cinematic for most AAA games and so forth). All i'm saying is : there are alternatives to literary and/or cinematic narrations, From Software proved it pretty well.

Dark Souls (like every other From Software RPG) has a codex too.  It is just hidden in item descriptions, signs/writing on walls/statues around the levels, and multiple conversations with various npcs.  Also in the case of King's Field in the manual :p

 

That said From Software RPG's aren't about the stories, they are about atmosphere and exploration.

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The Developers of Dark Souls didn't care to know if people would bother try to understand its lore, they decided to adopt a full video game narration, where the level design and game mechanics actually tell the story. There are still a majority of people today that still think Dark Souls story is a basic "go kill some dudes" quest and have no idea of how deep it actually is.

Now of course, I realize that Dark Souls narration is something really hard to elaborate, and that some developpers decide to use traditional kind of narration (literacy here, cinematic for most AAA games and so forth). All i'm saying is : there are alternatives to literary and/or cinematic narrations, From Software proved it pretty well.

Dark Souls (like every other From Software RPG) has a codex too.  It is just hidden in item descriptions, signs/writing on walls/statues around the levels, and multiple conversations with various npcs.  Also in the case of King's Field in the manual :p

 

That said From Software RPG's aren't about the stories, they are about atmosphere and exploration.

 

 

I always think of Dark Souls as a game that tries a different approach to narration. Dark Souls is all about mystery speaking for itself, or, as Dan Pinchbeck/The Chinese Room says, to leave blanks to fill for the player, because leaving things open is also interactivity. Just not physical interactivity, but internal interactivity.

Elan_song.gif

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The Developers of Dark Souls didn't care to know if people would bother try to understand its lore, they decided to adopt a full video game narration, where the level design and game mechanics actually tell the story. There are still a majority of people today that still think Dark Souls story is a basic "go kill some dudes" quest and have no idea of how deep it actually is.

Now of course, I realize that Dark Souls narration is something really hard to elaborate, and that some developpers decide to use traditional kind of narration (literacy here, cinematic for most AAA games and so forth). All i'm saying is : there are alternatives to literary and/or cinematic narrations, From Software proved it pretty well.

Dark Souls (like every other From Software RPG) has a codex too.  It is just hidden in item descriptions, signs/writing on walls/statues around the levels, and multiple conversations with various npcs.  Also in the case of King's Field in the manual :p

 

That said From Software RPG's aren't about the stories, they are about atmosphere and exploration.

 

 

Do you only realize that i've killed myself trying to tell you that :grin: !

It doesn't need to explain anything, there's not even a map in Dark Souls game, and still the lore is amazing. And it's amazing precisely because it doesn't bother trying to set its universe in people's minds, it just throws all of its brutality and fatefulness at their face (well, it's especially effective for dark fantasy tbh, but it's still, as the wise said, a new fresh and welcome approach of narration for video games).

 

 

You find some stuff about black iron Tarkus when you read its armor set description... but you find way more when you find his body down the chapel in Anor Londo, you realize the poor dude, even if he's a damn badass, just fell off the roof you, yourself, had to f-ing travel on, and all this because he was wearing a big ass armor and sword. This way to tell his story is just absolutely awesome. Not a word, not a cutscene, just mise-en-scene

 

 

Now, as I said, Dark Souls has its own universe, and I know PE is gonna have a more literary narration (which I have nothing against). But that doesn't mean it isn't still whatsoever, imo, way more immersive when the narration takes different forms (From the screens and arts we already saw, I can bet the visual will take a great place in building the universe in our minds for example).

Edited by CaptainMace

Qu'avez-vous fait de l'honneur de la patrie ?

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I always think of Dark Souls as a game that tries a different approach to narration. Dark Souls is all about mystery speaking for itself, or, as Dan Pinchbeck/The Chinese Room says, to leave blanks to fill for the player, because leaving things open is also interactivity. Just not physical interactivity, but internal interactivity.

That is a very poetic way to put it, though its not much deeper then many FPS titles. Its appeal is mostly through its insane amount of difficulty, catering to the sort who prefer the challenge of arcade era, which provide them with sense of achievement and something to talk about.(WOW and casinos has also specific things they are banking on)

 

You guys might be right that it is a fresh approach of narration for video games, it is also a huge time hog appropriate to people with a lot of time on their hands and in no way the approach used in the spiritual successors to this game.

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That is a very poetic way to put it, though its not much deeper then many FPS titles. Its appeal is mostly through its insane amount of difficulty, catering to the sort who prefer the challenge of arcade era, which provide them with sense of achievement and something to talk about.(WOW and casinos has also specific things they are banking on)

 

 

 

You really shouldn't stop to that. Afterwards, I can assure you that the game isn't difficult at all. I could come up with a sh*t ton amount of games from all types (including, especially, infinity engine crpg) that, either on normal or harder difficulty setting, are way harder than Dark Souls.

I'm actually kind of tired to hear that again and again. I would have enjoyed Dark Souls just as much, maybe even more, if death wasn't so quick to occur and, to be honest, people who see it as an overhyped elitist game should really (really) consider playing it further. The thing is, the experience you win in the game is way less important than the experience you get behind your pad, as a proof you can check numerous Soul Level 1 run of Dark Souls on the internet.

 

And allow me to retort, it is way deeper than most of games actually, for reasons already mentioned.

 

EDIT : How could a game that has checkpoints every 50 feet considered over difficult ? I'll always wonder.

Edited by CaptainMace

Qu'avez-vous fait de l'honneur de la patrie ?

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In terms of what your character will know and what he won't, I'd just like to point out that they've mentioned intentionally designing the narrative such that your character is sort of an outsider, and is there fore unfamiliar with most local stuff. I don't think that's going to mean that "you know nothing, Jon Snow." But, you're not going to be intimately familiar with local customs and non-global deities, teachings, histories, and lore, most likely.

 

That being said, I think it's a good idea to have your character's basic knowledge base in some sort of codex. Is it something you would actually have written down and carry around with you? Probably not. But, I accept the abstraction, sense the only alternative to the game using text to tell you all the stuff your character knows would be to use audio, which would simply be the same thing but more expensive, and less easy to pick information out of (you can't glance at an entire audio entry at once and find just the bit you're looking for).

 

But, yes, the game basically just needs to intelligently compile your character's codex. Finding something of significance/worth looking into and digging up info on it should be two separate things. Now, maybe you get part of that info from the person who just led you to the significant thing/person, or maybe all of it (if it fits for that to happen), or maybe you know hardly anything and have to go look through a library or talk to some people who might know about it, etc. Maybe some of it is in your basic knowledge base (that you just know from character creation), and the game simply indicates that an existing codex entry might be helpful.

 

The other thing is, all instances of this shouldn't just be "find out all the infos" in a quest objective. Ideally, it should be variable; you have to dig up SOME minimum amount of info, to know where to find something/how to harm it/etc. But, how much of the info you actually dig up and/or pay attention to (as a player) should often affect what options are at your disposal in approaching the situation. The game just needs to say "you need more info than you have now to find this person and handle this situation," but it doesn't need to tell you about the existence of 3 different bits of info that will provide you with 3 optional approaches to the situation. As in "(optional) Go find The Threads of Eternity in the library and read it," "(optional) Talk to Phillip the Scholar in Edgington," "(optional) Locate the Shard of Belaam for Phillip to study." I've seen a lot of games do that. But, all the player really needs are clues. Talk about the library. If you want to go look through the library and find an applicable book, you will. Mention that a scholar lives in town. If you want to track him down, you will. Point out that it's not necessary.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Ideally, it should be variable; you have to dig up SOME minimum amount of info, to know where to find something/how to harm it/etc. But, how much of the info you actually dig up and/or pay attention to (as a player) should often affect what options are at your disposal in approaching the situation.

Totally random game that did something like this was "Folklore" (amusing, "RPG" kinda in the style of pokemon).  Your "codex/PokeDex" was a BLANK book, but you could find pages scattered around every level, and it wouldn't TELL you what to do, but rather show you in a picture.

 

For example, there was this really quick/easily frightened thing (think like a deer in the woods).  so, if you found the page showing you how to catch it, it would just be a stylized picture of the deer thing in your codex, and which other pokemon thing to use against it so that you could catch it.

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  • 4 months later...

Why did I never see this thread before?

... It rolled high on its Stealth check? *shrug*

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Please never stop being a Punsmith. You add so much color to these forums.

While I'm glad that they're appreciated, just know that I am aware exactly how terrible they are. :)

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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PS:T Haters Anonymous?

 

Now all we need is a Arcanum hate group.

 

Me. I can't stand Arcanum. The music makes me want to slash my wrists. I don't like Fallout 1 either. Bwahahahahhahaha. The feeling of liberation is like fire flowing through my veins.

 

 

 

 

OMG .... What is your place here, why did you even back this game guys ?

 

Didn't the 'bring back the magic of the old games' sign at the door make you turn the other way ??

Edited by constantine

Matilda is a Natlan woman born and raised in Old Vailia. She managed to earn status as a mercenary for being a professional who gets the job done, more so when the job involves putting her excellent fighting abilities to good use.

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PS:T Haters Anonymous?

Now all we need is a Arcanum hate group.

 

 

Me. I can't stand Arcanum. The music makes me want to slash my wrists. I don't like Fallout 1 either. Bwahahahahhahaha. The feeling of liberation is like fire flowing through my veins.

 

 

 

OMG .... What is your place here, why did you even back this game guys ?

 

Didn't the 'bring back the magic of the old games' sign at the door make you turn the other way ??

Someone can like some old school games and not others. I loved BG 1 & 2, IWD 1 & 2, but have tried multiple times to get into Arcanum but I just can't do it.

"Wizards do not need to be The Dudes Who Can AoE Nuke You and Gish and Take as Many Hits as a Fighter and Make all Skills Irrelevant Because Magic."

-Josh Sawyer

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